Your brakes are actually a system of connected parts, all working together to ensure your vehicle is able to come to a stop safely and reliably. Every single time.
As such, the brake system is crucial not only for your safety, but also the safety of every other person on the road. How do you ensure your brakes remain up to task? With regular inspections and expert maintenance.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the key things you need to know about your brakes:
- The 4 basic components of a brake system and how they work
- Annual brake inspections – the key to safe, efficient, and long-lasting brakes
- Warning signs that your brakes may need urgent repairs
- Tips for reducing wear and tear on your brake system
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Need a free brake repair estimate? Our technicians are skilled, detail-oriented, and have more than 50 years of combined experience. So you can feel confident knowing that your brakes will be serviced or repaired right the first time.
The 4 basic components of a brake system and how they work
The exact parts in a brake system, and the ways in which they work together, can vary from vehicle to vehicle. At the most basic level, this is how most systems work:
a) The calipers are the first component that gets activated when you push down on your brake pedal. Once activated, the calipers apply pressure to the brake pads.
b) The brake pads create friction by clamping down on something called a rotor (also called a disc).
c) The friction created on the rotors causes them to stop spinning. And because the rotors are connected to the wheel hubs, they help bring your vehicle to a stop.
d) Brake fluid is what keeps all the parts of your brake system lubricated and working together.
Depending on the exact age or make of your vehicle, the brake system may work slightly differently (e.g. using drums instead of rotors/discs). That’s why our experienced technicians are trained to assess and service each vehicle based on its unique needs.
Annual brake inspections – the key to safe, efficient, and long-lasting brakes
Brakes and brake fluids tend to be the most neglected or under-serviced parts in a vehicle. This is because drivers often underestimate the immediate and long-term benefits of regular brake inspections. Your brake system is the most crucial safety equipment in your vehicle. A quick, but thorough inspection allows us to identify wear and tear that may not be apparent to you as the driver.
At Sullivan Automotive, we’ll do a full check-up of your entire brake system. That includes all the basic components, as well as other parts, such as brake lines, service lights, and parking brakes. Based on our assessment, we can repair or replace any worn out parts before your vehicle becomes too dangerous to drive.
Not only do these annual check-ups ensure the immediate safety of your vehicle. They also protect you from potentially larger and more costly repairs down the road.
Warning signs that your brakes may need urgent repairs
In spite of your best efforts, there could be instances where your brakes are in need of urgent inspection and repairs. Here are the most common warning signs to look out for:
- You hear hissing, squeaking, or grinding noises when you use the brakes
- You notice excessive dust on or around one or more wheels
- Your vehicle pulls to one side or the other while driving
- You feel your vehicle vibrating when applying the brakes
- Your brake pedal stays pushed down or pushes down too easily
- The warning lights related to your brakes light up on your dashboard
- You notice fluid leaks around the tires or where the brake lines may be
If you notice any of these warning signs, we know how worrisome that can be. We’ll make every effort to put your mind at ease and ensure your safety on the road. That means we’ll bring your vehicle in for same-day inspections. And wherever possible, we’ll do our best to offer same-day repairs and replacements, too.
Tips for reducing wear and tear on your brake system
Repairs and replacements are inevitable with every vehicle. But there are things you can do as a driver to be proactive and reduce the natural wear and tear on your brakes.
Once again, annual inspections are key. Catching one worn out part as early as possible can ensure that it doesn’t wear out all the other parts, too. Working with experienced technicians is also important. You want to trust your brakes with a team that can accurately diagnose issues and recommend the correct course of action. You’ll notice we always opt to use OEM (original equipment manufacturer) – these are the parts outlined in your vehicle’s owner manual – or the best after-market products made to meet those requirements.
There are additional things you can do that relate to the way you operate your vehicle. For example, start to slow down well in advance when you know you need to come to a stop. Unless it’s absolutely necessary, avoid sudden stops or applying too much pressure to your brakes all at once. And in instances where you simply want to reduce your speed, you can try removing your foot from the accelerator instead of using the brakes.
Free estimates for brake inspections, repairs, and replacements
Sullivan Automotive is a brake repair shop you can trust to help keep your most important safety equipment in good condition. Our technicians are skilled, detail-oriented, and have more than 50 years of combined experience. So you can feel confident knowing that your brakes are serviced or repaired right the first time. We offer free brake repair estimates.